Elli Korpela has come from Finland to America to find a husband, and to escape the man most benefits from her being gone. When she arrives, she finds her husband, Nathan White, to be more than she anticipated and hopes that the marriage may become one of more than just convenience for both of them. However, before they can settle into any kind of married life, they need to find out who's behind the attacks on Elli at their new house. Is it her past tracking her across the ocean, or is it someone angry at Nathan's new position of foreman?
I am not typically a fan of novellas, and this book is a good demonstration of my reasons. Even though I liked the characters and was excited for the chance for both Elli and Nathan to find more than they'd hoped for in this mail-order marriage, there was just not enough time for the story to develop. There was not enough time for their romance to develop at a natural pace, and there was not enough time to develop depth to the mystery and its solution. This short book did intrigue me enough that I intend to read the full Butterfly Palace novel, and hope for more insight into the characters who only made brief appearances in this novella.
I give this novella 2.5 stars, rounded to 3. While the short story/novella format does not appeal to me, the characters and writing were still decently enjoyable. Perhaps, once the series is rounded out, it will make a nice bridge between books 1 and 2.
I received a copy of this e-book from the Booklook Bloggers program, in exchange for my honest review.
Mail-order bride Elli Korpela has travelled from Finland to Austin, Texas, to marry Nathan White. She's hiding from her past, while Nathan is looking for a woman to care for his four-year-old niece, Hannah. He's not looking for love. But he finds himself drawn to Elli and feels protective towards her, particularly when they have a break-in and it seems Elli was the target _
There were a few factual oddities, and I found these distracted from the story. It wasn't explained where Hannah's father was, and why Nathan was responsible for her. Finland wasn't the first country to give women the vote (that honour goes to New Zealand, in 1893), although Finland was the first to allow women to vote and stand for Parliament. It didn't explain how allowing women to vote impacted on Elli's property rights.
And I didn't understand how a property deed would fit inside a wooden Russian doll (the smallest doll in a set of Matryoshka dolls is usually solid, not hollow, and is far too small to hold a property deed and letter). This last point was particularly annoying, as it made the entire suspense plot seem unbelievable.
However, the romance was sweet. I've always got a soft spot for a good marriage of convenience story, and Bluebonnet Bride certainly provided that.
Thanks to and NetGalley for providing a free book for review.
Book Summary: Escaping a forced engagement, Elli sought refuge in an arranged, mail-order marriage. Her betrothed is a Texan named Nathan White. As she glimpses her future husband and his darling niece at the train station, she instantly knows her risk will prove the best decision she's ever made. Nathan White never took an interest in marriage until he became the guardian of four-year-old Hannah. He's arranged a mail order wife to love and care for his orphaned niece. But his mind changes when he first sees the beautiful Elli Korpela. After a glorious wedding ceremony in the gardens of a place called Butterfly Palaceâ€”the grandest estate Elli's ever seenâ€”a peaceful beginning takes a disquieting turn. An intruder brutally attacks Elli. Nathan intervenes, but the devil escapes unidentified, leaving Elli to face two chilling possibilities: either the attack was arranged by strike workers in Nathan's employ or her shadowy past followed her across the sea. As the danger mounts, Elli and Nathan must face their enemy together, fighting for their newfound marriageâ€”and for their lives.
Review: I love revisiting previous characters and this novella is just the right touch of tying up loose ends and bringing us back in touch with beloved characters. I liked Nathan from Butterfly Palace and grew to really like his character in Bluebonnet Brides. The mystery was a nice touch to keep me off center to the changes being made in the lives of Hannah and Nathan. Hannah has grown into a nice young girl and it was great to see how wonderful Belle has become. I hope that Belle someday gets her own story. I fully appreciate the glimpse into these characters through this short story. No big surprises other than how dear the characters are.
I would like to thank Book Look Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Fiction for allowing me to read and review this book in return for a free copy and I was never asked to write a favorable review by anyone.
What a fantastic novella! I have not read one of Colleen's stories that I've not liked, and this little novella was no exception. I only wish it was a full length novel! The story line was not rushed, surprisingly. I have found in many novellas, the story seems rushed because they author tries to put too much into too little space. Even the romance had, what I felt, was the right amount of time to develop.
The characters, Elli Korpela and Nathan White, were adequately developed in the short story. Elli learns to overcome her trust issues with the help of Nathan's kind attention. Nathan is such a great hero! He is kind, patient, loving, and mature. The fact that he cares for his niece is evident and makes him more appealing to the reader. His protective nature helps Elli become the woman she's meant to be.
Each character has to learn to open their eyes, ears, hearts, and minds to God. Without doing that, we let what God wants for us slip away. We miss out on so many blessings and opportunities by not paying attention! Overall, I really enjoyed this story. I wish it were longer!
**Thank you, BookLook, for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.**
I've read many of Colleen Coble's books. I think she writes a great story but wasn't given enough time to fully develop these characters. If you want something quick to read then this is a good book for that. It was interesting but Colleen writes so well we need more.